Dr Victor Chang, AC


As a gifted surgeon, respected humanitarian and skilled campaigner, Dr Victor Chang was a pioneer of the modern era of heart transplantation.

His achievements include developing Australia’s National Heart Transplant Program at St Vincent’s hospital, which has since performed more than 1200 successful heart, heart-lung, and single lung transplants since 1984. He also saw the incredible value of research – playing a key role in development of an artificial heart valve and, in later years, an artificial heart.

Victor Chang (Yam Him) was born in Shanghai of Australian-born Chinese parents. He came to Australia in 1953 to complete his secondary schooling at Christian Brothers College, Lewisham. He graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1962.

In 1966 Victor became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons at the age of 30. Initially he trained in general surgery in England, but he commenced serious training in cardiac and thoracic surgery at the Brompton Hospital for Chest Diseases in London. It was in London that he met and married his wife, Ann. After two years at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., where he was chief resident, he returned to Sydney in 1972 to join the elite St Vincent’s cardiothoracic team, which included Dr Harry Windsor and Dr Mark Shanahan. In 1973 he was made a Fellow of the Australasian College of Surgeons and in 1975 he became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

A pioneer of the modern era of heart transplantation, Victor Chang was responsible
for the establishment of the National Heart Transplant Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital
in 1984, lobbying politicians and raising funds for its ongoing work.


During the 1980’s he lectured extensively in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. He founded the Australasian-China Medical Education and Scientific Research Foundation which sponsored South-East Asian doctors, nurses and students to work in Australia and take improved skills and quality of care back to their home countries.

Victor_chang_img3At the same time, he helped teams from St Vincent’s travel to China, Singapore and Indonesia where they shared their medical, surgical, nursing and hospital administration expertise.

In 1986 Victor Chang was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia and the
University of New South Wales awarded its highest degree of M.D. Honoris Causa
for “scholarly achievement and humanitarian endeavour”.

Victor Chang died in tragic circumstances in Sydney on 4 July 1991.

He was an Honorary Professor of Surgery to the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Peking; an honorary Professor of Surgery to Shanghai Medical School; official advisor on cardiac surgery development in Indonesia; and a member of the Australia China Council.

In 2000, Dr Victor Chang was named Australian of the Century by the people of Australia.

He is remembered as a quiet, charming man – much loved by his patients and his friends, his wife Ann and his children Vanessa, Matthew and Marcus.

Latest news


What is the Chain Reaction Foundation? The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is...
Find out more

Latest event


2017 Women Against Heart Disease Lunch Thursday 27 July Location: Shangri-La...
Find out more

Latest article

Find out more

Latest media


“Without them I’d be dead…”   SURVIVORS THANK HEROES AT HEART OF GOLD...
Find out more


Do you have a question but cannot find the answer?

ask the institute

Privacy Policy

1. Our privacy commitment

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute respects your privacy.

We collect, store and use your personal information to help us fight heart disease. This Privacy Policy explains how we handle the personal information we collect relating to our fundraising activities – this includes marketing, events, our website, and health promotion services such as the Health Check Booth.

2. What types of personal information we collect

Personal information means information that identifies you or that could reasonably be used to identify you. The types of personal information we collect may include your name, gender, contact information, email address, credit/debit card information and if you consent to take part in our activities and events, health promotion services or to receive marketing materials from us.

3. Health information and other sensitive information

We do not collect health information or other types of sensitive information as part of our general fundraising activities or through our general web-site.

4. Using unsolicited information

Unsolicited information is information that is given to us that we haven’t asked for, from you or anyone else. If we receive this type of information, we will check whether this information is reasonably necessary for what we do. If it is, we’ll handle this information in the same way we do all personal information under privacy laws. If we don’t need it we’ll destroy or de-identify it.

5. How we collect your personal information

Where possible, we will collect your personal information directly from you. This may be in person (e.g. when you attend an event), on the telephone, or on-line.

We only collect information by lawful and fair means.

We may also obtain personal information from third parties or publicly available sources. In this case, we will take reasonable steps to contact you and ensure that you are aware of the circumstances surrounding the collection and purposes for which we collected your personal information.

6. Why we collect your personal information

We may collect your personal information for a number of purposes, including:

  • Marketing: to communicate with you about donations, our activities and fundraising events.
  • Health promotion: to provide you with services and information related to cardiovascular disease and its risk factors and research-related events and seminars.
  • Other activities: communicating with you to verify your identity, to improve and evaluate our programs and services, and to comply with relevant laws.

7. What happens if you don’t provide your information?

If you do not provide some or all of the personal information requested, we may not be able to offer you services, process your donations, or provide you with information about our events and activities.

8. Using a pseudonym or engaging with us anonymously

Anonymous donations may be made to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute at any time by contacting us directly. Please note that we are unable to provide anonymous donors with receipts.

If you want to make a general enquiry or browse our web-site you can do so anonymously.

9. Website usage information and cookies

We do not use ‘cookies’ or any other methods to record information that is personally identifiable such as a visitor’s contact details, IP address, or domain name. We do use ‘cookies’ to anonymously track visits to our web pages and the documents that are downloaded in order to compile statistical information. This provides us with information about which pages are popular. If you prefer for ‘cookies’ not to be used, you can set your browser to disable them.

10. When we disclose your personal information

We may need to disclose your personal information to our agents in order to carry out our fundraising activities. This may include agencies who perform services on our behalf, such as mailing houses, printers, information technology services providers, archiving services, database services and telemarketing agencies. These services will always be provided under strict confidentiality agreements.

In rare cases, we may be required by law to disclose your information to a government or law enforcement agency (for example to investigate an allegation of credit card fraud).

11. Security of our information

We take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access. Electronic information is stored on secure servers that are protected in controlled facilities.

We do not use data hosting facilities or third party service providers that store information overseas.

Hard copy information is generally stored in our offices, which are secured to prevent entry by unauthorised people. Any personal information not actively being used is archived, usually for 7 years, with a third party provider of secure archiving services. Where personal information is stored with a third party, we have strict agreements in place that require those third parties to maintain the security of the information.

12. Security of direct debit and credit card information

We use a third-party financial institution to process our credit card transactions. It receives the credit card number and other personal information of our donors only to verify credit card numbers and to process credit card transactions in a secure environment. Where your financial information is stored on our servers, access to this information is restricted to our authorised staff only.

13. Accessing or changing your personal information

We take reasonable steps to make sure that the information we collect and use is accurate, up-to-date and complete. You may contact our Fund Development Officer at any time if you wish to:

  • change or correct your personal information (for example address or telephone number)
  • cancel some or all of the communications that we provide (we include opt-out mechanisms on the majority of our communications)
  • request access to the information that we hold about you
  • request further information about our privacy policy.

14. Questions and complaints

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about the way in which we have handled your personal information, please contact our Fund Development Officer.

Once we receive a complaint, we will respond to you as soon as possible and will let you know if we need any further information from you. We will notify you of our decision within 30 days, however, if we are unable to do so, we will let you know the reason for the delay and the expected timeframe for resolving the complaint.

You may also lodge a complaint with the Office of Australian Information Commissioner, for more information visit www.oaic.gov.au.

15. How to contact the Fund Development Officer




Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
PO Box 699
Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Telephone 1300 842 867

For a copy of our full privacy policy, please click here.

Updated: March 2014